Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival kicks off Nov. 17 with magical lineup

November 3, 2022

Kickoff ceremony to feature holiday acts, fireworks and Santa at Pere Marquette Park

Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 will illuminate the city during the 24th annual Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival presented by Johnson Financial Group, Nov. 17, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023. The six-week celebration begins on Thursday, Nov. 17 with a kickoff ceremony at 6:30 p.m., in Pere Marquette Park, 900 N. Plankinton Ave. Featuring live music and dance acts, holiday treats, fireworks, and a visit from Santa Claus, the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Kickoff Extravaganza will jumpstart the city’s season of cheer.

The dazzling night of performances includes cast members from Black Arts MKE’s “Black Nativity,” Jenny Thiel, Donna Woodall, DJ Shawna, Dance Academy of Mexico, St. Michael’s Ukrainian Choir, Vertical Essence, and Sarah Fierek. A fireworks ceremony will then top off the night. Free cocoa and cookies sponsored by DoubleTree by Hilton, plus Jingle Bus rides, powered by Coach USA, will be made available to guests in attendance. Pre-show fun will start at 5 p.m.

After the Nov. 17 kickoff, families can view all the decorated sights aboard the Jingle Bus. The 40-minute narrated tour is a no-fuss way to see the magic of downtown. Tour highlights include “Community Spirit Park” at Cathedral Square Park, sponsored by Madison Medical Affiliates and Ideal Property Management; “Christmas Chalet” at Pere Marquette Park; and “Santa’s Celebration Square powered by We Energies” at Zeidler Union Square. The Jingle Bus will run Thursdays through Sundays, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Nov. 18 – Dec. 30. Rides are $5 per person and, new this year, tickets must be purchased in advance at www.milwaukeeholidaylights.com. Spanish language tours will be available on select nights. Tours depart from The Avenue, 275 W. Wisconsin Avenue, and discounted parking is available in the attached structure for just $3 with validation.

Throughout the season, the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival also bundles Downtown Milwaukee’s expansive list of holiday offerings, including concerts, shows, exhibitions, sporting events and other merry measures, including Santa’s Mailbox, Nov. 1 – Dec. 12; and Cocoa with the Clauses, Saturday, Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., both in Cathedral Square Park. Children who place a letter in Santa’s Mailbox, presented by Educators Credit Union with support from Serving Older Adults, McGovern Park Senior Center and National Association of Letter Carriers – Pioneer Branch 2, will receive a personalized reply by mail, provided they supply a return address.

For more information on the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival, visit www.milwaukeeholidaylights.com.

The 2022 Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival is sponsored by Johnson Financial Group, We Energies Foundation, Ideal Property Management, Madison Medical Affiliates, VISIT Milwaukee, Taste of Home, The Avenue, 3rd Street Market Hall, Coach USA, Interstate Parking, Educators Credit Union, Serving Older Adults, National Association of Letter Carriers – Pioneer Branch 2, DoubleTree by Hilton, MGIC, Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel, WISN 12, 95.7 WRIT, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County Parks, and Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21